About

Our History

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of New Jersey was created in 1973 by the Criminal Justice Act of 1964 (18 U.S.C. sec. 3006A). In accordance with that law, a federal district court (the trial courts of the federal judicial system) may establish a defender organization if at least two hundred persons in the district annually require the appointment of counsel.

The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of New Jersey represents indigent defendants before the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Representation includes counsel, investigative, expert, and other services necessary for an adequate defense.

The Office includes the Federal Public Defender, Assistant Federal Public Defenders, Research and Writing Specialists, Investigators, and administrative staff. They handle caseloads composed of federal misdemeanors, felonies, parole and probation violations, habeas corpus, grand jury representation, direct appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and petitions for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Federal Public Defender is appointed to a four-year term by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, after consideration of recommendations made by the District Court. The Federal Public Defender appoints as many attorneys as the U.S. Court of Appeals approves and other personnel as approved by the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.